Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Help during the coronavirus outbreak: This nonprofit is running out of food. Here’s how you can help

Williamsburg House of Mercy using a drive-thru service to give away food donations. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of the Williamsburg House of Mercy)
Williamsburg House of Mercy using a drive-thru service to give away food donations. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of the Williamsburg House of Mercy)

Williamsburg House of Mercy is offering a drive-thru option to people who need food during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As of Wednesday, there are 17 positive cases in James City County and one each  in Williamsburg and York County.

Shannon Woloszynowksi, executive director for the nonprofit, said they are using a drive-thru to practice social distancing.

She said they are relying on community donations but “the food is going out quicker than its coming in.”

Woloszynowksi said they are waiting for the federal government to waive the USDA food donations requirements which involve recipients meeting with intake coordinators to see if they qualify for the food donations.

Right now, the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank has USDA food on pallets.

“Once they are waived, we can run people through this drive thru quickly,” she said. “Until that happens, we’re relying on community donations.”

Restaurants such as Precarious Beer, Amber Ox, Sal by Victor and Carrot Tree have donated food, she said. In addition, Busch Gardens has donated fresh produce.

The nonprofit currently needs shelf-stable food donations. Drop donations off outside the building so they can be sanitized.

“Thank you to the many community organizations and individuals who are working with us to make sure we are able to care for our neighbors in need,” Woloszynowksi said in a news release. “This past week has been a true demonstration of the dedication of Williamsburg to care for the most vulnerable in our community. Please continue to combat this crisis with your service and stay safe!”

The Drive-Thru Food Distribution at Williamsburg House of Mercy, 10 Harrison Ave., is available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visitors must pull in Bright Street, turn right on College Terrace and then turn right on Harrison Avenue pulling into the parking lot. Do not park in a parking space. Exit is a left back onto Bright Street.

There are also community kitchen meals available for pick up during the weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. Park behind the facility and meal attendants will assist you at the back door.

For more information, visit the nonprofit’s Facebook page.

The following Williamsburg House of Mercy services are closed or limited until further notice.

  • Financial assistance, limited availability. Call 757-229-3700.
  • Hope Pregnancy Care Center, closed until further notice. If you are delivering within two weeks, call 757-253-0664 or send a Facebook message.
  • Harbor Day Shelter, closed until further notice. Guests are in emergency or temporary housing and are receiving three meals a day from the nonprofit.


Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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